3 Simple Ways to Celebrate National Family Day

It’s National Family Day!

Maybe you didn’t even know there was such a thing, but here at National House of Hope, families are our focus. So, we’re taking the time to encourage you to spend time as a family today and make a point of incorporating family time into every week of the year.

National Family Day was created in 2001 to encourage parents to focus on building strong family relationships in small, meaningful ways.

One thing is sure—family time is NOT overrated. We need more and more of it.

In fact, we’ll be bold enough to claim that increased and devoted family time will resolve many of today’s cultural ails.

If you’d like to participate in National Family Day or need some ideas to get started on regular family time, we’re offering 3 simple ways to celebrate National Family Day.

1. Sit Down to a Family Dinner

The family who eats together has happier, healthier, more successful kids who are less likely to use drugs, become sexually active, or battle depression.

If that isn’t a strong selling point for prioritizing family dinners, we don’t know what is!

Does the number of times per week a family sits down to dinner matter?

Research says it does.

Teens who have family dinners less than three times per week are four times more likely to use tobacco, twice as likely to use alcohol, and four times more likely to use drugs. At the same time, those who have dinner with their families five to seven days each week are far less likely to engage in harmful activities.

Dinnertime is when kids connect with their parents and form stronger, healthier relationships. This provides security, confidence, and a sense of belonging that is critical during a child and teen’s development.

Many professional counselors believe that the dinner hour is the missing link to lowering the rates of substance abuse and addiction.

Today, on National Family Day, make a point to have the entire family put away their smartphones and devices and focus on one another over dinner at the family table. Strike up a conversation and enjoy connecting and learning more about one another. (Print out our free Teen Talk Conversation Cards to help get the conversation going!)

2. Play a Family Board Game

Playing a relationship-building game is a great way to connect with one another and build memories!

Get ready to bring out everyone’s personality and have some unexpected (and often goofy) conversations!

Like family dinners, playing and interacting together builds strong, confident, and happy kids and teens. Make playing a family board game part of your plan this National Family Day.

Games that are great for relationship-building include:

  • Pictionary
  • Catch Phrase
  • Apples to Apples
  • Charades

Whatever you do, play together! And make it positive—no criticisms, only encouraging words allowed. Above all, enjoy your time together!

3. Go On a Family Outing

Make plans to go on a family outing on National Family Day (or this coming weekend)!

Like dinners and game nights, family outings play a special part in building strong family bonds that lead to happy and successful kids.

Aside from family vacations, which are another great way to build family bonds, family outings can include:

  • Take a trip to a museum or aquarium. Then stop and get some ice cream on the way home.
  • Go golfing (or miniature golfing) as a family. Then, stop for lunch at your teen’s favorite restaurant.
  • Try something new and adventurous, like axe throwing at a local entertainment center, laser tag, or paintball.
  • Hit a local waterpark and be willing to join your teens on some slides you’d never consider on your own time!
  • Pick up some pickleball equipment and find a local court for some friendly family competition.

Whatever you do, have fun together! And make sure you allow your teens to have a say in your chosen activity. If they don’t enjoy themselves, it defeats the whole purpose!

Rules for Family Time

Rules can sound like fun killers, but they’re necessary to get what you need out of this special time. On National Family Day, and every time you’re investing in family time, set some rules like the following:

  1. No smartphones or devices. This includes parents! All phones and devices should be placed in another room during at-home family time. Everyone should agree that phone use should be kept at a minimum when outside the home.
  2. Put work and homework on pause. There will always be something else that seems pressing. But your family will soon learn that everyone will be okay putting work and homework on pause for a bit.
  3. Inform everyone in advance of family time. Let everyone know when you plan to have family time so they can be prepared and free from distractions or other plans.

We hope these ideas help you plan for a fun National Family Day and beyond! Nothing is more important than family; no investment could bring a greater return than investing in your children and family bond.

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